Dear Boss. Please excuse Armchair Adventurer from being productive this week. He is experiencing Obsessive Compulsive Dot Watch syndrome. He will be checking XPD Live Tracking every few minutes and shouting instructions at Dot Number 6 on the screen. Symptoms should subside sometime on Sunday when Merrell Adventure Addicts are due to complete the 650km non-stop, unsupported XPD race in Australia.
Trackers not only help you hunt down your stolen car or reckless daughter out at a club, they allow you to take five days off normal life and coach South Africa’s premier adventure racing team as they charge about the Australian outback, rainforests, islands and mountains.
Following their win at Expedition Africa earlier this year in Swaziland, the team are currently tackling an extreme course combining the usual mountain biking, trail running, trekking and paddling with canyoning, SUPping and snorkelling along with 35 other 4 person teams. The live tracking site allows us to view their progress to compulsory checkpoints on their way to the finish. The proposed route is drawn in for our convenience, however the teams only receive the maps with the checkpoints and must figure out the best way to navigate themselves there across all sorts of terrain.
This is where your support is needed. Research shows advice yelled at your computer may well filter across the waves and infiltrate the sleep deprived and muscle fatigued bodies and steer them onward or back on track.
At the transition areas (marked TA) they will encounter the boxes that they packed on Tuesday after receiving the briefing, with supplies and equipment needed for the next leg. If mistakes were made back then, it could mean they start a 50km run in their cycling cleats. Here you would not be able to assist, but some yelled abuse is acceptable. Luckily Captain Spreadsheet Tweet (Graham Bird) is the master of organisation and planning and logistical hiccups are not known under his command.
Robyn Kime, Grant Ross and Hanno Smit make up the rest of the strong team.
Photographers pop up in the field where it is accessible and images and updates will be posted to the Merrell Adventure Addicts fb page.
The team is hugely supported and driven to OUT.PERFORM by Merrell. They ride Giant bicycles and are proud to also be using South African products in the land down under; PVM, Squirt Lube, ButtaNutt, Llama Bars, Extreme Lights and Island Tribe all contribute to their incredible and inspirational successes.
More information on the team and Adventure Racing can be found on Merrell Adventure Addicts website and the XPD race site.